Civil Liberties

Submitted by tnjp on October 11, 2010 - 11:56am.

Dissent in the age of Obama - Peace activists had high hopes of an Obama presidency only to face the harsh realities of FBI raids and intimidation.
Cindy Sheehan Last Modified: 09 Oct 2010

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience.” - Albert Camus

Recently, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) raided the homes of at least eight anti-war/social justice activists here in the US.

I happen to be a prominent anti-war activist myself, and have joked that I am a “little hurt” that I was not raided and perhaps I should try harder. Even though, we have the urge to try and be light-hearted in this time of an increasing police state, with civil liberties on the retreat, it really isn't funny considering that the activists could face some serious charges stemming from these raids.

I have felt this harassment on a smaller scale myself and I know that defending oneself against a police state that has unlimited resources, time and cruelty, can be quite expensive, time consuming and annoying.

There is nothing noble about an agency that has reduced itself to being jackbooted enforcers of a neo-fascist police state, no matter how much the FBI has been romanticized in movies, television and books...

Submitted by tnjp on October 8, 2010 - 2:04pm.

October 6, 2010
Attention Left, Liberal and Radical Groups - Pennsylvania Has Been Monitoring You!
By BILL QUIGLEY and RACHEL MEEROPOL

Thank you, Institute of Terrorism Research and Response (ITRR), for reminding us how many bad-ass, dedicated, and creative groups we count as allies in our efforts to create a more just world! 

Our friends at MoveON.org, the Ruckus Society, Immokalee Workers, the new SDS, Jobs with Justice, the Brandywine Peace Community, ANSWER, PETA, Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty, MOVE, The Yes Men, Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, Climate Ground Zero, the Rainforest Action Network, pro-Palestinian Groups, Puerto Rican nationalists, prisoners’ rights organizations, citizen conservation groups, and immigration activists opposing Arizona’s crazy attempts to criminalize all non-citizens should know – Pennsylvania has been monitoring you. 

Just over a month ago, ProPublica broke the story that Pennsylvania’s Office of Homeland Security contracted with the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response (ITRR), a private Israeli-based company, to assess terrorist threats impacting law enforcement priorities in Pennsylvania...

Submitted by tnjp on October 5, 2010 - 6:36pm.

Targets of FBI raids say they won’t testify before grand jury
By MICHAEL TARM
Associated Press Last update: October 5, 2010 - 10:54 PM

Anti-war activists whose homes or offices were raided as part of an FBI terrorism investigation will refuse to testify before a grand jury as ordered, a show of defiance that could land them in jail.

Some of the anti-war activists won't testify because they don't want to be complicit in what they see as an attempt to stifle freedom of speech and assembly, said Jess Sundin, whose Minnesota home was raided.

"We feel like the reason we're being called and we're being looked into is because of our very legitimate and constitutionally protected work in the anti-war movement," she said.

The homes of two other longtime Minneapolis anti-war activists, Mick Kelly and Meredith Aby, were also among those searched last month.

On Tuesday, peace activists protested outside federal buildings in Minneapolis and in Chicago, where the grand jury was to convene.

"We will not be silent," Stephanie Weiner told protesters...

Submitted by tnjp on September 26, 2010 - 3:13pm.

Ironically, the NLG issued this report the SAME DAY as the most recent illegal government raids occurred...

National Lawyers Guild Issues New Report on Unlawful Police Tactics
For Immediate Release - 09/24/2010
Contact: Paige Cram, Communications Coordinator communications(at)nlg.org 212-679-5100, ext. 15
New York:

The National Lawyers Guild has released its third comprehensive report on government violations of First Amendment rights on the one-year anniversary of the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh. “The Policing of Political Speech” documents how police over-reaction to protected speech has informed unlawful police tactics at National Special Security Events, such as the 2008 Republican National Convention and the 2009 G-20 Summit.

The report lays out age-old government tactics that have been reintroduced under new anti-terrorism policies and legislation. Spying on and infiltration of activists’ meetings, the use of agents provocateurs, raiding organizers meeting spaces and the misuse of grand juries to collect information are some of the practices that are backed up with recent incidents observed and being challenged in court by National Lawyers Guild members...

Submitted by tnjp on September 26, 2010 - 2:49pm.


Minneapolis, September 24, 2010. The many faceted local peace community rallied quickly to protest and to act against the FBI search and seizure of 6 homes of peace activists and a local peace office. Computers, cell phones, files and records, passports were among items swept up in the early morning raid. This action came a few days after the FBI's Inspector General criticized the FBI for lying to Justice Department about raids and surveillence of peace groups after 9/11. see - Washington Post The 5:30 rally turned out several hundred concerned citizens who heard the first-person stories of the searches...

Submitted by tnjp on September 26, 2010 - 2:30pm.

Inspector General Criticism Doesn't Faze FBI Raids on Midwestern Anti-war Activists
Coleen Rowley
Former FBI Special Agent
Posted: September 25, 2010 09:14 PM

The war on dissent, rather than terrorism, continued full steam with FBI SWAT teams breaking down doors at 7 am Friday (Sept 24) morning and raiding the homes of several anti-war leaders and activists in Minneapolis, Chicago and possibly a couple other Midwest cities. Members of the FBI's "Joint Terrorism Task Force" spent a few hours at each Minneapolis residence, seizing personal photographs and papers, computers and cell phones as well as serving Federal Grand Jury subpoenas on the various activists.

Obviously the scathing review of post 9-11 FBI "terrorism investigations" targeting various peace and social justice groups completed by the Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) and just issued four days ago gave no pause to the FBI to reflect before continuing to do more of the same. Nor did accompanying media revelations about the FBI having improperly conducted surveillances of an antiwar rally in Pittsburgh; the Catholic Worker peace magazine; a Quaker activist, the Thomas Merton Center in Pittsburgh, of members of the environmental group Greenpeace and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and of a small student group of anti-war activists in Iowa City, Iowa who were targeted for 9 months in 2008...

Submitted by tnjp on September 26, 2010 - 2:22pm.

FBI Serves Terrorism Warrants In Minn., Chicago
STEVE KARNOWSKI
Sep. 25, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The FBI said it searched eight addresses in Minneapolis and Chicago as part of a terrorism investigation Friday. Warrants suggest agents were looking for connections between local anti-war activists and terrorist groups in Colombia and the Middle East.

FBI spokesman Steve Warfield told The Associated Press agents served six warrants in Minneapolis and two in Chicago. "These were search warrants only," Warfield said. "We're not anticipating any arrests at this time. They're seeking evidence relating to activities concerning the material support of terrorism."

The homes of longtime Minneapolis anti-war activists Mick Kelly, Jess Sundin and Meredith Aby were among those searched, they said. All three were subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury in Chicago: Aby on Oct. 5, Sundin on Oct. 12 and Kelly on Oct. 19. "The FBI is harassing anti-war organizers and leaders, folks who opposed U.S. intervention in the Middle East and Latin America," Kelly saidbefore agents confiscated his cell phone...

Submitted by tnjp on March 13, 2009 - 10:53pm.

170 Organizations Request Special Prosecutor for Bush-Cheney

A movement is building around a simple statement at http://prosecutebushcheney.org

Organizations and individuals are signing on, and 170 organizations have already taken the lead.

Next week United for Peace and Justice will ask its 1,400 member groups to consider signing on.

Most of the 170 national and local groups signed onto this movement before the release of seven Justice Department memos from 2001-2002 in which top officials claimed the right to disregard the Fourth Amendment, Habeas Corpus, and Posse Comitatus:
http://afterdowningstreet.org/node/40420

Most of these groups signed on before learning that the CIA had destroyed 92, not 2, "interrogation" tapes:
http://afterdowningstreet.org/node/40360

Most of these groups signed on before the release of Emails in which we discover that British intelligence thought the Iraq weapons claims were laughably dishonest: http://afterdowningstreet.org/node/40684

Most signed on prior to the United Nations declaring rendition illegal:
http://afterdowningstreet.org/node/40627

Would you or your organization like to be cutting edge?
You can sign on at http://prosecutebushcheney.org

Submitted by Carol on January 6, 2008 - 11:20pm.

"For the past six years, our rights have been on the chopping block. If 2007 was the year we didn’t get our freedom back, 2008 will be the year we demand it. Our holiday wish list is simple: We want our Constitution back. It doesn’t even need a ribbon. This New Year, we resolve to hold our leaders accountable. We hope they will resolve to follow the law."

2007: The Year We Didn’t Get Our Freedoms Back

Top 10 ways our government failed us:

Submitted by tnjp on December 21, 2007 - 5:27pm.


McKinney for President
www.runcynthiarun.org

NEWS RELEASE

For immediate release:
December 15, 2007

Contact:
media-requests@runcynthiarun.org

Cynthia McKinney Announces Presidential Campaign
Video News Release to follow Dec 16, 6 PM

Cynthia McKinney, a former six-term Congresswoman and an outspoken opponent of the war in Iraq, today officially launched her campaign as a Green Party candidate for President.

Submitted by tnjp on November 23, 2007 - 2:37am.

Keith Olbermann gets it. With a not insignificant dose of irony he narrates the protesters being led off the stage at Alberto Gonzales' speech at UF. First, civil liberties were led off the stage w/o noticeable reaction from Gonzo. Second, Habeas Corpus was dragged away to the same lack of effect...

Submitted by tnjp on November 21, 2007 - 5:40am.

As far as I'm concerned those arrested weren't committing any crime. As citizens we have the obligation under international law to resist the criminal actions of our government. Especially torture-mongers the likes of Alberto Gonzales... The real crime is the University of Florida payin' war criminal Gonzales $40,000 for showing up to be abused!
Protesters arrested at Gonzales speech
By DEVIN CULCLASURE, Alligator Writer
In his first appearance at a university since resigning in August, former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was met at UF on Monday with a mixture of cheers, boos and scattered interruptions by protesters, two of whom were arrested.

Gonzales, who resigned from his position after a controversial tenure, spoke to more than 800 people at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

During his prepared speech, Gonzales largely avoided discussing the controversies he faced in office, including his dismissal of nine U.S. attorneys.

Instead, he focused on encouraging students to consider a career in public service while describing his own experiences in that field.

About 15 minutes into his speech, two UF students, Richard Gutierrez and Kevin Hachey, climbed onto the stage wearing orange jumpsuits and black hoods on their heads...

Submitted by tnjp on November 16, 2007 - 5:27pm.

Does anyone else think it's time to take away their tasers?


Taser video shows RCMP shocked immigrant within 25 seconds of their arrival
Last Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2007 | 12:52 PM ET CBC News

An eyewitness's video recording of a man dying after being stunned with a Taser by police on Oct. 14 at Vancouver International Airport has been released to the public.

The 10-minute video recording clearly shows four RCMP officers talking to Robert Dziekanski while he is standing with his back to a counter and with his arms lowered by his sides, but his hands are not visible.

About 25 seconds after police enter the secure area where he is, there is a loud crack that sounds like a Taser shot, followed by Dziekanski screaming and convulsing as he stumbles and falls to the floor.

Another loud crack can be heard as an officer appears to fire one more Taser shot into Dziekanski.

As the officers kneel on top of Dziekanski and handcuff him, he continues to scream and convulse on the floor....

Submitted by tnjp on November 12, 2007 - 1:06pm.

Ain't this a BUNCH of TOTAL BS?

U.S. official: Privacy must be redefined - Residents need to adjust to loss of anonymity, government leader says updated 7:41 p.m. ET, Sun., Nov. 11, 2007
WASHINGTON - As Congress debates new rules for government eavesdropping, a top intelligence official says it is time that people in the United States changed their definition of privacy.

Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguard people’s private communications and financial information.

Kerr’s comments come as Congress is taking a second look at the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act...

Syndicate content